Sunday, June 26, 2011

Toyota Europe Blog: Exclusive interview with André Lotterer

Re-blog from my post on Toyota Europe's Corporate Blog coverage of the Nürburgring 24 Hour Race.

André Lotterer
Coming from your win at Le Mans just two weeks ago, what it your outlook for this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour Race?
For me, it would be great to have a smooth race. The key to success is having no problems. It’s not as easy as it looks because the track is very demanding on both the cars and the drivers. There are also a lot of cars and the conditions can change quickly. It will definitely be a challenging task, but for the team, our target is to not have any issues.

The track seems pretty wet during the support race today. How does the LFA perform in these conditions?
Our set up is quite good thanks to the tires from Bridgestone, which are also very good in the wet so we feel quite safe with them. We even have cut slicks for intermediate conditions so we don’t lose so much time. In that sense, I feel very confident.

Your racing career has been extensive, with successful tours in Japan as well as the European circuits. How big is the difference when it comes to racing in Japan and racing in Europe, both highly competitive environments?
It’s very different because it takes time to get used to the team and the people again. It’s not always easy to know who’s who. In Japan, it’s easier because I know my team for a long time and we’re like a little family. It’s tough to go back and forth but I’ve had a lot of practice doing it, switching from Formula Nippon to GT. I guess that helps.

André after pitting with engine issues
Are you happy with the team’s Qualifying performance?
Yeah, I was surprised with the lap times and how they improved from last year. It’s a really positive feeling.

Did you have an opportunity to drive the LFA since you last drove it right here at the Nüburgring 24 Hour Race?
No, I didn’t drive it at all since then. So for me, I’m still getting up to speed with everything.

Do you feel that the car has improved since last year?
The car is more stable. You can see that the lap times are better, closer to race pace.

We will continue to bring you the latest progress of the GAZOO Racing Team here and on our Twitter feeds @toyota_europe and @Lexus_EU.

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